What a Year!
For those of you that missed it, we had a
great Annual Meeting and Ten Year Celebration on Friday, November 6th.
There was a special ten year slide show highlighting the many
accomplishments that we have achieved together over the years. To view the slide show, click here. But the year is not over yet. See below for a number of fun activities that
you can be part of in the next six weeks, including our casual and relaxed
Christmas party. Finally, please
consider a year end contribution to enable OWCA to continue its record of
accomplishments into 2016. May each of
you have the best of holidays with family and friends.
and early November
OWCA Booths at Trails
Festival and Hispanic Festival well-received
Saturday, October 3rd was a
busy day for OWCA volunteers as they represented the organization at two
different locations. Denise and Ray
Aquista represented OWCA at the Hit the Trails event at Fairfield Glade and had
lots of engaging conversations about the environmental needs of that community
and OWCA’s ability to participate in helping with solutions. At the Hispanic Festival, June Zettelmeyer
and Hugh Thomforde represented OWCA and fielded many questions about the
organization’s work. Both festivals
provided lots of opportunities to spread the word about our organization’s
Don Hazel of the Fairfield Glade
trail group led the 2 mile hike that leads down to Daddys Creek and follows the
river before returning to the higher parking lot. It’s a great wooded hike with lots of
wildflowers and diverse plants. One of
many that has been developed by the Fairfield Glade Hiking Club.
Overlook Trail draws small group.
two work days in June. At the first, we
weeded and mulched the blueberry areas.
At the second, we weeded the area near the shelter, and did some
weed-eating along the outside of the vegetation along the stream channels. Thanks to Amy and Abby Steele-Wortel along
with Jennie, Meg, Sydney, and Killian Diem for helping out with this. Anyone who wants to adopt a part of the park
to maintain is welcome to do so. Let
Dennis know and he can get you started.
Debris Dam Clearing on the Obed River and Spiers Branch
Stream Team along with a couple of volunteers spent much of June and July
clearing tree tops and debris dams from two sections of the Obed River - below
Holiday Dam and below the wastewater Plant - and the last segment of Spiers
Branch below Deerfield Dr. Altogether,
five complete debris dams and seventeen partial debris dams were removed. In addition, thirteen revetments were
installed on eroding banks and one large rock vane was constructed. This work completed the 319 contract with the
Tennessee Department of Agriculture that included the Little Obed Genesis
project. Thanks to Scott Collie,
Christina Burgess, Donavon Phillips, and Jamarcus Pelcher who worked with
Dennis, along with volunteers Aston Burgess and Adron Damron-McNally.
Most of this material removed was a result of the ice storm
in February and removing it prevented unnecessary bank erosion as the stream
would have cut new paths around the obstructions. These three stream segments were originally
worked on in 2010 and 2011 and it was gratifying to see that all the original
work continues to provide stabilization to the banks in these areas.
Leads to Repair Project
On our visit to the
OWCA wetland in conjunction with the Frog and Toad workshop in April, we
noticed that there had been significant erosion of the outlet of the upper
wetland. The bottom had eroded behind
the dam structure and was moving upstream, lowering the water level in the
wetland and potentially recreating the original stream channel, leaving the
wetland dry. After obtaining
permission from TDEC to make the repairs, rock was brought in to build a new rock
structure designed to restore the original water level. Over three tons of stone were placed by hand
to create the structure as well as a number of loads of sandstone gravel to
fill the spaces between the larger rock.
With the help of Scott Collie and Eli Lester, Dennis was able to
construct the new grade structure in five days.
We’ll be monitoring its performance through heavy rains.
Elementary Nature Trail
Thanks to the
outreach efforts of Annell Fields, the long discussed addition of a nature
trail at Stone Elementary School took a great leap into reality in May. Dennis, Scott Collie, Taneesha Dutchover, and
volunteer Christina Burgess laid out and cleared a trail that runs to and along
one of the creeks, a tributary to the Little Obed, that runs through the school
After a couple days of clearing, Annell was able
to conduct a couple of nature enrichment sessions with three different classes
of students, introducing them to the stream, the trail, and her pet corn
snake. The second grade class also
participated in the planting of a tulip poplar tree near the parking lot of the
school. We hope to continue working with
the teachers and the school PTO to develop the trail as an educational focus
for the school.
Former Staff Member Angela with a Snapping Turtle in Centennial Park.
October Stream Clean-ups
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Two groups came out on Saturday October 17th to clean up streams in Crossville.
The Cumberland County Democratic Party brought eight volunteers to clean up the streams and drainageways in Centennial Park. We were pleased to see that the park has been doing a lot of little pickup as part of their regular maintenance so there was less to pick up this time. The park looks beautiful.
Twenty Roane State Community College students came out and did clean-ups on two stream sections. They started with cleaning up the tributary to the Little Obed that runs parallel to the interstate. They cleaned-up a half-mile of that stream. With their numbers they made quick work of this and then headed to the Crossville Wastewater Plant and cleaned up a segment starting 100 yards upstream of the plant and then running over one quarter mile downstream. They filled four large trash bags, retrieved three tires and some other large objects. Both streams say "thank you."
A very productive day for both groups. This shows the power of volunteers!
and Tenth Year Celebration
6:00 p.m. Friday,
November 6, 2015
Forte’s Restaurant on
the Courthouse Square
As a membership organization, OWCA has
an annual membership meeting at which the Board of Directors and Officers are
elected. In previous years, we have had
a speaker and a potluck supper following the elections. Because this annual meeting marks the
completion of ten years of the organization’s life, we felt the need to do
something special. We will be meeting at
the upper room in Forte’s restaurant and they are offering a limited menu of
chicken, salmon, or primavera pasta (vegetarian). Bar service will also be available. Because this is a membership meeting, you are
not required to buy food or drink to attend, but we wanted to offer this as
part of this special occasion. Dennis is
putting together a slide show of the past ten years. If you have memories or photos you want to
share, give him a call at 484-9033 after October 11. We will have social time from 5:30 to 6:00,
our business meeting from 6:00 to 6:15, which includes elections and
awards, and then dinner followed by a
program of reflection of where we’ve been as well as some challenges for where
we want to go. While reservations are
not required, please contact June Zettelmeyer at 931-788-5022 or Dennis at 931-210-3611 to let them know so we can give the
restaurant an idea of how many people will be eating with them. We
hope to have a full house!